As Roe vs Wade stands overturned, many American women have protested the US Supreme Court ruling, demanding their right to abortion. Now, concerns that their data from period tracking apps could be accessed by the law enforcement are forcing many to have to delete such apps. Women have been taking to Twitter to share that they would be deleting such apps pronto. Experts say that these apprehensions are, in fact, legitimate. As per a report in NPR, privacy experts have expressed similar concerns. Not just period tracking apps, but any app gathering sensitive information should be given “additional level of scrutiny”, an expert told NPR.
As per a Business Insider report, data collected by period tracking apps being shared with law enforcement is unlikely but not impossible, as per a tech policy researcher. According to the expert, those who find such apps genuinely useful should not feel compelled to delete them now. Some such apps have responded to these anxieties. For example, Flo has said that it does not share user data with any third party.
reminder to delete your period tracking apps right now, like NOW
— kat ♡︎ misses juuls era (@THClbs) June 24, 2022
People prosecuted for their pregnancy outcomes to date were surveilled, turned in by trusted people, including doctors, not period tracking apps.
The corroborating evidence was Google search histories, not app location information. It was texts and emails, not cell tower pings.
— Don’t post about crimes. (@KateRoseBee) June 25, 2022
Also let it be clear the whole “delete certain apps that track your period” thing is no exaggeration nor is it hypothetical that period tracking can be used against people. Literally a tactic that was adopted during policing of Black welfare receiving mothers
— 🔆 🔆 🔆 (@BlackFemmeinism) June 25, 2022
the fact that even period tracking apps arent safe boggles my mind but what else can be expected from a country that would rather risk the safety of women than give them the option to make a decision for themselves
— jamie (@jngwdz) June 24, 2022
Seeing more calls today to delete your period-tracking apps. But experts say that if you look at how states have already brought evidence in abortion-related cases, the *much* bigger concern is unsecured, unencrypted communications & stored search history. https://t.co/aCrsDukNoG pic.twitter.com/3qtutkD5vg
— Kevin Collier (@kevincollier) June 24, 2022
While some states had put in place so-called “trigger” laws to come into force virtually automatically after the decision was handed down. And as of Friday evening, at least seven states had banned the procedure: Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, and South Dakota, AFP explained in its report. A total of 26 states are expected to comply as soon as is practical, making abortion illegal in most of the South and the Midwest.
In these states, pregnant women must either travel hundreds of miles to an abortion facility or perform abortions on themselves at home using medication or other methods.